WA Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has called on all side of politics to declare their position on constitutional recognition and a treaty as the election campaign gets underway.
According to Ms Siewert the debate in the community had progressed far beyond that in the political sphere on the issue of treaty versus recognition.
“I think because the constitutional recognition conversation happened quite some time ago now, five years ago and because the previous government and this government haven’t really progressed that,” she told The Point this evening.
“The community conversation has overtaken the conversation just on constitutional recognition.”
Ms Siewert also said many people did not necessarily want just one or the other.
“Some people want either or (a treaty or constitutional recognition), but a lot of people actually want both, but see it as an overall package and also clearly link it to reconciliation,” she said.
“That’s what people are saying, they want to talk about sovereignty and treaties and progress those conversations and I think that as a community it’s way past time, and there’s a strong appetite in some sections of the community.”
However there was also an acknowledgement that there were some who did not agree with the arguments being put forth on the issue and that, many were behind in their understanding of the issue.
“I will acknowledge that not all Australians yet ready or even understand the concepts, but there is certainly a strong appetite in the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Community,” she said.
“I think there needs to be an acknowledgement from everybody that’s now engaging in this conversation that there is a mood to start talking about sovereignty and treaty as part of an overall approach and I think there’s much broader recognition now that sovereignty was never ceded and we need to have that conversation as part of that overall unfinished business.”